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RE: [albanach] Re: Trews and brat

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  • Matthew A. C. Newsome
    Well, _Old Irish & Highland Dress_ by H. F. McClintock has a chapter dealing with a couple outfits in the National Museum in Dublin from sixteenth century
    Message 1 of 33 , Jun 15, 2004
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      Well, _Old Irish & Highland Dress_ by H. F. McClintock has a chapter
      dealing with a couple outfits in the National Museum in Dublin from
      sixteenth century Ireland, one with a pair of tartan trews.

      I already mentioned the outfit found in Ulster from which the "Ulster
      district tartan" was taken, that dates from the sixteenth century. This
      was an actual tartan outfit - possibly worn by an immigrant from
      Scotland. I know I've seen pictures of the garments somewhere (on line
      or in a book) but I can't remember where now.

      Also, many of the clothing patterns at www.reconstructinghistory.com
      <http://www.reconstructinghistory.com/> are made from actual sixteenth
      century artifacts, albeit from Ireland rather than Highland Scotland.

      Aye,
      Eogan

      Get the new book, Early Highland Dress!
      Available now at <http://albanach.org> http://albanach.org
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Julie Stackable, SCA Margaret Hepburn
      [mailto:malvoisine@...]
      Sent: Monday, June 14, 2004 7:32 PM
      To: albanach@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [albanach] Re: Trews and brat

      > Eogan replies:
      > Pretty much, yeah. If the cloth was woven to be worn as a plaid,
      or
      > made into hard wearing clothing like trews, you bet it was twill.
      The
      > earliest piece of tartan they've dug out of the ground in Scotland
      (the
      > so-called Falkirk tartan) was a twill. The few examples of
      sixteenth
      > century tartan garments I've seen photographed were twill.
      There are surviving 16th century tartan garments? Are they Scottish?
      Are the pics on line? I wasn't aware of any!!
      Margaret Hepburn



      This is Albanach, a group devoted to the study and re-enactment of
      Scotland c. 503-1603 AD.





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    • Matthew A. C. Newsome
      Another point about this passage from Leslie (that doesn t require trying to hunt down the original Latin document) is that all he is saying is that they all
      Message 33 of 33 , Jun 19, 2004
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        Another point about this passage from Leslie (that doesn't require
        trying to hunt down the original Latin document) is that all he is
        saying is that they all wore mantles, and the nobles seem to have a
        preference for more colors in their mantles. He's writing this in 1578.
        Whether or not he is describing people contemporary to him or in the
        past, he is still writing in 1578.

        To someone reading this familiar with the ancient Irish annals mentioned
        previously, it is quite easy (and wrong) to imagine a connection between
        the two and read Leslie as supporting evidence for their being some kind
        of "class rank" system that determines how many stripes you wear in your
        tartan. But this would be quite unwarranted. The context, the locale,
        and certainly the period in time of these two documents are completely
        different. And you would have to read into Leslie much that he didn't
        say. All he actually says is that everyone wore mantles, and nobles
        preferred mantles of many colors. He doesn't even say they are tartan!
        We are assuming that, but it's not expressly mentioned.

        So be careful about reading more into sources like this than they really
        say.
        Aye,
        Eogan

        Get the new book, Early Highland Dress!
        Available now at <http://albanach.org> http://albanach.org
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Sharon L. Krossa [mailto:skrossa-ml@...]
        Sent: Friday, June 18, 2004 11:22 PM
        To: albanach@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [albanach] Re: Trews and brat

        At 11:15 AM -0500 6/18/04, Joe Robertson wrote:
        >Multicoloured tartan for nobility-
        > My reference was Bishop Leslie's account in 1578 (a bit after my
        >persona, though) " All, both nobles and common people, wore mantles of
        >one sort (except that the
        >nobles preferred those of several colours). These were long and
        flowing,
        >but capable of being neatly gathered up at
        >pleasure into folds"
        >Plainer tartans for commoners-
        > I've lost my link to this reference. I will find it again, read it
        >through, and post it.

        Ah, I had forgotten that part of Bishop Leslie.

        Leslie is a very problematic source -- all the Scottish clothing
        books quote him, but none of them put the quote in the greater
        context of Leslie's work. Leslie's work is _De Origine, moribus et
        rebus gestis Scotorum_ which is a history of the Scots from the
        earliest times onwards.

        Which raises the question, who exactly is Leslie describing?
        Highlanders from his own time, about which he might actually have
        known something, or Gaels or Scots from some earlier time, about
        which he is unlikely to have reliable information? The past tense is
        used in Leslie's passage, except, rather tellingly, for only part of
        the following line:

        >From McClintock:
        "habebant etiam, cujus modi Hibernenses et hodie sibi placent,
        villosas stragulas, alias ad iter, alias ad lectos accomadas (?
        accommodatas)."

        >From Dunbar:
        "They had also shaggy rugs, such as the Irish use at the present day,
        some fitted for a journey, others to be placed on a bed."

        "Placent", the verb that goes with the Irish, is the present tense
        (3rd person plural) of "placeo" ("to please, to be pleasing or
        agreeable, to give satisfaction, to satisfy"), while "habebant", the
        verb that goes with whoever he is describing in the rest of the
        sentence, is the indicative active imperfect (3rd person plural) of
        "habeo" ("to have, possess") -- so literally, "were having"/"used to
        have"/"began to have".

        This strongly suggests that in the passage as a whole Leslie is
        talking about some past time rather than describing contemporary
        Highlanders, as when referring to the Irish of his own time he uses
        the present tense.

        It is my intention to someday look up the context of the Leslie's
        description, but until that is sorted out, Bishop Leslie's
        description isn't very useful as we don't have enough information to
        know who to apply it to or even how reliable it might be.

        Sharon, ska Effrick
        --
        Sharon L. Krossa, skrossa-ml@...


        This is Albanach, a group devoted to the study and re-enactment of
        Scotland c. 503-1603 AD.





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